Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 28, 2009

Dear Family:

I got transferred.

Weird, huh? Sister de Souza, who was my companion in Guarujá, whose sister died, went home on Thursday last week. And, because I was in trio, President transferred me to Santo André-Ala 3, on the other side of the city. I'm now with Sister Miner. She's awesome! She's from Salt Lake and has about a year in the mission and has a brother in Mission-Hong Kong. My new ward seems really cool, and we've got a baptism coming up on Sunday, Elizângela. Elizângela is 26 and lives with her friend Bianca (who was baptised a few weeks ago) and Bianca's mom.

I'm glad April's getting better and I'm getting so excited to help with Dad's new calling and meet Manuel!! You guys are being such good missionaries! Did the Scott's already get their Book of Mormon?

So, I've been thinking about our trip. President Richardson, when he gave me a ride to my new area, asked me if I knew that I would still be a missionary on the vacation, and explained to me that that meant I have to keep the missionary schedule as much as absolutely possible and that you guys should be prepared to keep the schedule with me and stuff. Are you guys prepared for that? Are we going to wake up at 6:30 and study together and go to bed at 10:30 and everything? President Richardson said that they all used missionary dress during the activities that permitted it... are you guys going to do that?

I think that's it... Good luck with all the preparations.

See you soon!
Love y'all,
Sister Todd

July 14, 2009

July 14, 2009

Congratulations, Daddy! The new LMA!! I'm gonna help you so good next month. You better have all your weekly meetings with the missionaries and go on splits and plan activities and get everybody to help the missionaries and always have food at the meetings.

Mom, I'm so happy that you're loving work.

EMILY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY A LONG TIME AGO!! I`m not sure if i remembered to say that when it was actually your birthday. But I remembered when it was actually your birthday. When everybody was getting ready for the day, I all of the sudden cried out `PARABENS!!` And stated singing the birthday song. Sister Swollon thought that i was singing for myself, cuz it was the same day that i completed 17 months on the mission, but I was singing for you. The end.

This past week we had our last zone conference. And it was awesome. President Richardson taught us why the Book of Mormon is called the Book of Mormon. Anyone know? I know you think you do, but you don`t actually know. At least not the secret reason. The secret reason is found in Mosiah 18:30. The Waters of Mormon was where the people came to know their Redeemer. And the Book of Mormon is where we come to know our Redeemer. How beautiful is it to the eyes of them that there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer! Is it beautiful to you? We learned all about the Book of Mormon and using the Book of Mormon... and did I tell y`all that we`re reading the book of mormon as a mission in 60 days?... so we had a chance to bear our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was wonderful, and I cried to think that I will never have another Zone Conference... ever.

As for your question, Dad, OF COURSE we`re going to have time to prepare people for baptism! I`m just not sure who or when. We`re teaching a LOT of people and quite a few already went to church. Our most firm investigators are: Sonia and Natale (mother and daughter), Jenifer (daughter of less-active family that is reactivating), Lu (girlfriend of son of less-active family that is reactivating), Henrique (13 years old, is participating with the young men), Leandro (who has drug problems), and Paulo (who is still having the same problems--but goes every week to church). All wonderful people.

Remind me to tell you about Viela 14 next week.

Love you all,

Sister Todd

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2009


We had transfers today and I'm in trio again in my same area! Me and Sister Swollon went and picked up Sister Romani. We are all going home next transfer. All three of us.

I loved you letter, Dad; and your talk, Ethan. You guys are so smart and brave and spiritually in tune. I'm so proud of everybody. Everybody went and growed up. I'm still waiting to get some recent pictures of April, by the way.

I'd like to ask for your prayers on behalf of Paulo. Paulo is a great young man... who has now read the entire Book of Mormon... and says that he knows that it could not have been written by a man... but is having a painfully hard time making a decision to be baptised. He is all caught up it deep theoretical stuff (wants to know who created God, etc). We're preparing a lesson for him on Saturday that I'm praying will make the difference.

We had another great week. We had record numbers of new investigators because we went to the soccer games that they're having in the church parking lot Tuesday and Wednesdays and got everybody's addresses. There are a lot of great young men with families, and we taught a lot of them.

And p-day's over.

Sister Todd

June 23, 2009


What a crazy week! Funny that it came in the same week as my crazy week. We taught a ton of really hard lessons this week. Everybody had tricky questions or hard life situations or thought we were satan worshipers or started arguing in front of us or any number of other strange things. but it was great, because me and my companion were able to deal with all of the situations. And in each lesson, either she or I knew what to do. When I told president about it in our interviews, he said it was a fulfillment of D&C 100:5-8. It was a great testimony building week... but exhausting at the same time. And to top it off well, we went to the temple today!!! It was my first and last temple trip with the mission. At the beginning of my mission, everyone in São Paulo or abc went every month... and then it switch to every quarter... and during all this time I was in the Baixada--so i only went to see Kevin. so i went one time, and Sister Swollon went seven times. in the same amount of mission. It was wonderful. We went to a session and did some initiatories. It felt like it had been ages and ages since i last went. But it was also exhausting cuz we woke up at 4:30 to take a bus, the train, and another bus... and then to come back. So I'm going to wrap it up and take a quick nap before starting to work at 6... wish me luck! Love you mom! (and everybody!) Never give up! never surrender!

Sister Todd

June 16, 2009


How I love this work! I have learned even more clearly on my mission that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he prepare a way for them to accomplish them. Christ commanded us to be perfect. And this life is the way that he gave us to accomplish this commandment. I am learning so much on my mission. Looking back on all the opportunities and experiences that I have had on my mission, I can see so clearly the Lord's hand guiding my progress as a missionary and as his child. I know that every companion and every area and every investigator and every ward and EVERYTHING was exactly what I needed to learn and grow. I am so greatful to have had these wonderful experiences.

I discovered a scripture last week that has now become one of my favorites: 2 Nephi 11:4-5. It is such a simple declaration of everything that matters--a short summary of the gospel and God's plan for us. My soul, too, rejoices in my Savior, and delights in the covenants that can bind us to him and guide us to salvation and exaltation. I am loving this great opportunity to help people see these things and help them to enter into the way that can take them safely through this life. The gospel is so simple and beautiful! I just pray that we all can live it better every day-and take advantage of every moment.

Love and pray for you all,

Sister Todd

June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009

I love you guys! Thank you so much for all the details, Dad. It sounds like everybody's doing great. The Manaus trip would be great. I'm up for anything that you guys decide on. I'd also love to sleep in a hammock in the jungle... I think it would complete my Brazil experience. But if mom just wants to hang out on the beach, I'm down with whatever.

Our week was great. Our three baptisms were all successes, except for the water heater that didn't heat. The poor things almost froze. But their families all went and we are hoping to reactivate everybody! We had Ward Conference and Zone Conference, and a special musical fireside put on by the ward youth (I played the piano), and we taught a lot and Arlete and Rocha are still progressing and we're working on a lot of divorces and marriages to get a lot of old investigators baptised... and having a great time!

We are working super hard and having lots of wonderful experiences. If I had more time, I'd tell you all about it, but in just a couple more months we'll have some more time to talk about it all. So get excited, cuz there are some great stories. :)

I love the Lord and the mission,

Sister Todd

Swollon & Todd - Faithful and Powerful!